paper trail

Authors respond to news that their books have been used to train AI

Michael Chabon is one of the authors who has filed a lawsuit against companies who have used his books to train AI. Photo: Gage Skidmore

Alex Reisner writes about the more than 170,000 books that were used, without permission, to train various AI systems. The dataset, known as Book3, is now at the center of a series of copyright-infringement lawsuits brought by Michael Chabon, Sarah Silverman, and others. Reisner, who has now publicizing a search tool that allows you to see what books have been used in the AI projects, writes: “I’ve heard from several authors wanting to know if their work is in Books3. In almost all cases, the answer has been yes.” Sara Marcus, whose book Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution has been used to train AI, is one of many authors to respond. The Authors Guild has posted some advice for authors whose books have been used to train AI without permission.

The Washington Post spotlights novelist Jennifer Egan in its latest “Book Tour” column, which considers the contents of an author’s home library.

Vauhini Vara has posted a thread giving details about her new story collection This Is Salvaged and its long, complicated, and at times very discouraging path to publication. It begins: “This collection's first encounter with the publishing industry was in 2009, when an agent read it and offered to represent me….”

“People of every political persuasion now claim King as a forebear,” Eric Foner writes in an essay about Jonathan Eig’s new biography of Martin Luther King Jr. “But during his lifetime, King and the civil rights movement aroused considerable opposition, not only in the South. The government sought to destroy King’s reputation. With the authorisation of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, the FBI listened in on his phone calls with close associates and planted informers in his circle.”

At the Yale Review, critic Maggie Doherty analyzes and annotates the cover of the first issue of Ms. Magazine, from Spring 1972.

Tomorrow (Friday) at the n+1 offices, novelist and translator Francesco Pacifico will discuss translation and other topics with essayist Jesse McCarthy.